When you think salad, you probably don’t think about being full and satisfied. However, done correctly, a salad is a great option for mealtime. Choosing the right mix of ingredients offers you loads of nutrients and tons of energy without feeling hungry soon after. Start with one of these giant salad recipes and you’ll see what I mean.
1. Skinny Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s low in calories, but the protein in the chicken and the healthy fats in the avocado satisfy your appetite for hours. This will be your new favorite lunch after just one bite.
½ sliced ciabatta loaf
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley
7 ounces bacon, cut into strips
2 sliced hard-boiled eggs
2 baby lettuce, washed and dried
1 sliced avocado
½ cup shaved Parmesan
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 finely chopped anchovy filets
Juice of ½ lemon
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to medium high. Brush the bread slices with oil and bake until crispy. Season the chicken with garlic powder, parsley and salt. Grill over medium heat with a bit of olive oil until browned on both sides. Set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until crispy. Combine the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, anchovy, lemon juice and Parmesan in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the lettuce with the bacon, chicken, eggs, avocados, shaved Parmesan and bread. Toss with the dressing and serve.
2. The Big Vegan Bowl
Even if you’re a vegan and don’t eat meat, you can still eat a salad that is totally filling and tasty at the same time. Try this one just once and you’ll have a go-to meal that you make anytime you want to.
1 sweet potato, cubed
15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 peeled and julienned carrot
Shredded purple cabbage
2 handfuls greens
Hulled hemp seeds
Roast the sweet potatoes and chickpeas with a dab of oil at 400 degrees until cooked through and crisp. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Start the bowl with a couple handfuls of greens. Add the rest of the ingredients on top. Add dressing of choice, if desired.
3. Thai Chicken Salad
Here’s a delicious choice that has some ethnic flair to satisfy a craving. It’s easy to make and tasty to eat so you won’t be sorry.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1-inch piece of peeled and grated ginger
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 diced red pepper
3 grated carrots
2 chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup toasted and chopped cashews
Cook the garlic and onion in the coconut oil over medium high heat for two minutes. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through. Cool and shred. Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the olive oil. Add honey to taste. Combine the cabbage, red pepper, carrots, scallions, basil, cilantro and chicken in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and top with cashews.
4. Roasted Garlic Tomato Lentil Salad
If you’re not a huge fan of greens, this is the salad for you. It has veggies to fill you up and lots of fiber in the lentils to further satisfy your appetite. Yum!
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups halved grape tomatoes
1 cup sliced red onion
2 ¾ cups vegetable broth
1 cup green lentils
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven 375 degrees. Cut the head off the garlic and cover it with a teaspoon oil. Wrap in foil. Place the tomatoes and onion in a parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the garlic, tomatoes and onion for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven. Remove the garlic from the head and place in a bowl and mash. Boil the lentils in the broth and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, celery and red pepper. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over the lentil salad and serve.
5. Italian Sub Salad
This might be my new favorite. The flavors are perfect and you won’t even miss the bread when you turn this sandwich into a tasty and filling salad.
4 cups shredded lettuce
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup pitted mixed Italian olives
¼ sliced red onion
¼ cup sliced pickled banana peppers
6 ounces sliced deli meats
½ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. Toss together the rest of the ingredients and top with the dressing.
6. Almond, Berry and Chicken Spinach Salad
This salad combines the heartiness of chicken with the great taste of fruit. You won’t be able to resist having a second helping of this huge salad.
4 cups baby spinach
½ cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries, sliced
½ cup mandarin orange segments
3 tablespoons feta cheese
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey to make the dressing. Toss the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
7. Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It’s packed with protein to fill you up and the taste simply can’t be beat.
2 to 3 eggs
1 minced shallot
Olive oil, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
4 sliced bacon, diced
Boil the eggs for nine minutes, then place in cold water. Place the shallot in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar. Add the salt and sugar and marinate for 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil to taste. Fry the bacon until it’s crispy and cooked through. Toss the spinach with the shallot dressing. Add bacon and breadcrumbs and mix. Heat until the spinach wilts slightly. Top with the quartered eggs and serve immediately.
Which one do you want to try first?